Ever since smartphone devices began to play a role in the workplace, BlackBerry has been considered the king of enterprise. However, that may change for the first time this year. According to a study released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple’s iPhone and Android-powered handsets will edge out BlackBerry’s share of enterprise customers, replacing what has been the dominant choice for businesses throughout the past four years.
According to its most recent findings, employee liable Android shipments will reach 87.7 million units while iPhone shipments are expected to hit 37.1 million by the year’s end. Additionally, corporate sales for Android and iPhone devices have reached 15.1 million and 31.1 million units, respectively. These figures far surpass what the IDC has forecasted for RIM’s BlackBerry, which is predicted to reach 5.2 million employee liable shipments and 14.8 million from consumers. As a point of comparison, BlackBerry spearheaded corporate liable sales in 2011 with 22.4 million units sold.
“Blackberry continues to be the gold standard for security,” the IDC acknowledged, but continued to say that lack of interest in the platform could make it difficult for RIM to move it forward. According to Apple Insider, the iPhone is projected to be the top corporate liable smartphone and will reach 68.9 million shipments in 2016.
Apple’s well-established and secure iOS platform is a “win-win” for enterprise users, the report read, saying that businesses are purchasing iPhones “in droves.” While Android may boast more developers and a wider variety of employee liable devices, its fragmented operating system could be troublesome for business-oriented customers. Android has “more gaps in security than many organizations are comfortable with,” the report says, which could give the iPhone a strong advantage.
This news comes as RIM is preparing to launch its BlackBerry 10 operating system in January 2013, which can be considered a crucial attempt to win back some of the mobile market share from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. While the IDC may forecast RIM’s future as somewhat grim, some Wall Street market watchers have expressed optimism. The folks behind BlackBerry’s official blog also showcased some new features that will come with BB10 such as BlackBerry Flow, hoping to ignite some excitement for what RIM hopes will be a fresh start and successful rebound after the New Year.